The Man from Nowhere


Ludmilla Alexeeva

Lost in the crowd

Not so long ago in the Russian press was told about another victim of a mysterious illness. The young man woke up on the station bench in the unfamiliar city. He absolutely did not remember how it ended up and did not remember anything at all. Appealed to the people standing next to, and together they began to search for documents in his pockets, anything indicating his identity. Have not found! Found only some colored paper. As explained by the poor fellow lost his memory, it was money. He asked, "And what — money?" …

Neither the police nor the mental hospital he could not help, had to send it to the State Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry named after the Serbian. No injuries or injuries in men was found. The diagnosis was made this — a total retrograde amnesia of unknown origin, in other words — a complete loss of memory for unknown reasons. According to the deputy director of the Research Center, Professor Zurab Kekelidze in this institution, "poteryashek" examine, treat, try to return them to a lost past. But it is a long, laborious work, and does not always lead to success. By the way, this work is carried out by psychiatrists and psychotherapists only in Russia, but in the rest of the world with a similar problem, too, are facing.

The professor told in "Medical Newspaper" of the typical scenarios such clinical cases: "Suddenly the man wakes up and realizes that he is in an unfamiliar environment, in this case — has no idea of who he is. The only time these people look in the mirror, I tend to know themselves, they say, "Yes, it's me." Some (but not all!) Gradually recall some fragments, pieces of life. Usually they were heading somewhere. One morning, left the house and went to work. The other went to the cottage, the third — for fishing … And from that moment on they "disappeared" have sunk into oblivion. Once in a medical institution, the victims themselves can not remember anything, but if they ask, to push the memories, some show some of his skills, for example, they know how to drive, swim. One came to our center and saw a computer, sat down and began to work automatically, although earlier claimed that he never work with him did not. Restoring memory occurs with the help of modern techniques as medication and psychotherapy. Well at least something to help remember and relaxation sessions, special medical procedures. "

Memory "erase" criminals?

The people there are all sorts of rumors of unknown causes of the disappearance of people and their return to the complete loss of memory. Someone blamed witches unleash damage, someone — aliens. Often ordinary people assume that "treated" for affected intelligence, and even bandits. How do these people actually lost their memory? Or to whom and what it took to deprive them of memories? Who has had an impact on their psyche? But, according to relatives, who have found their "poteryashek" through the TV show "Wait for me", patients with such a mysterious amnesiac not turned to psychics, magicians, healers who use subliminal techniques. And also — does not consist in some sects. That's what opinion expressed academician, director of the Institute psycho-ecology Igor Smirnov: "There is a lot of speculation on that. It is often said about the medicines and technologies that allow both to artificially cut out a portion of consciousness. Help is not "clean up" the witness of some accident physically, but simply remove his memories of the incident. Methods to enter the mind of any person to "erase" from his brain certain information, even change his personality really exist. Some of these techniques by physicians for the treatment of severe psychosomatic disorders could be stolen from developers, physicians, and could easily fall into the hands of criminal groups. Erase part of human memory can be, using psychotropic drugs as well as modern electronic methods of accessing the subconscious.

However, the science known cases where, having gone through a lot of stress, a person loses part of the memory itself, without outside influence. This protects the body: the brain removes himself extremely burdensome information that could kill a man. " But, as an academician, much more memory lose head injury or stroke. As for the restoration of brain functions, the return of some patients to normal life still possible, but at the beginning of the treatment, the doctors usually do not provide an absolute guarantee. Sometimes the memory is returned, but it is difficult to understand how this happened — helped doctors or the brain itself gradually returned to normal (

What is the diagnosis and treatment of a-

Siberian doctors also found cases of total retrograde amnesia. But, unlike their metropolitan counterparts, they are more prosaic look at this problem. To convince our physicians, those cases in which they happened to meet, had quite a realistic explanation. Therefore, they do not believe in aliens and time travel … According to the deputy chief physician of the Novosibirsk regional neuropsychiatric clinic Nina Rakitskaya, the occurrence of such abnormalities is due to several reasons. In the first place — intoxication, often alcoholic, more often — narcotic. Sometimes it's to blame for a chemical that is inhaled by a patient or mistakenly drank. Unambiguous prediction in these cases there is, sometimes the memory is reduced, sometimes returns partially or lost — once and for all. It all depends on the degree of brain damage.

Sometimes a complete loss of memory and hysterical disorder, as well as transient — hysterical blindness, deafness, paralysis. We know that individually unbearable situation, quite a lot of stress can lead to the fact that the person taken away legs, and sometimes — "taking" memory. However, he goes to the disease, fenced off from the traumatic situation with new experiences (also negative, but — other!) As a general rule, — said Nina Yu — while improving the patient's mental state and are complications, the same violations of motor function or complete amnesia.

In medical practice, head of neurological department of the Novosibirsk hospital N 11 Olga Miguskinoy also met people with total retrograde amnesia. Among them — the young, physically fit men.

To convince Olga I., the first thing to do — is to carefully examine the patient, perform a magnetic resonance tomography. And only when it becomes clear what caused such a state of a person, you can begin treatment.

Most often, says neurologist, a complete loss of memory cause traumatic brain injuries and toxic damage to the brain (low-quality alcohol and other harmful substances). Especially dangerous is the parietal damage, the frontal, temporal regions of the brain. Named first fraction is responsible for the accumulation of the information and episodic memory (retention of personal experiences and feelings). Temporal lobe — for the same episodic and semantic memory (knowledge of foreign languages, multiplication tables, etc.). And, of course, often to the loss of memories of past causes a lot of stress.

It is known that in emergency situations, people are most vulnerable. According to scientists (in particular, Hans Markovic from the Cologne Institute of the brain), this is due to the fact that during the state of emergency the body produces increased amounts of stress hormones, and they are on long or repetitive stress block the nerve cells of the brain, do not give a pass to them the necessary signals determining proper operation. So in the end hormones act destructively, like poison. The task of doctors — to return to the peace of mind to man to a different, more relaxed look on his wounding event.

From my experience Miguskina Olga and her colleagues know that amnesia may be a consequence of stroke, schizophrenia, epilepsy. And hysteria caused by adverse events in a person's life. In the latter case, the patient not to suffer, away from reality, involuntarily committed to "forget everything."

To return to the victims past, doctors treat their drugs that improve brain power, challenging his work. And used a variety of treatments, psychotherapy sessions. As an experienced neurologist said, in toxic and, especially, with hysterical amnesia in some cases, recovery of memory possible. It is not always in full. But with severe head injuries, especially in case of damage responsible for the memory areas of the brain, recovery is doubtful. If you can bring back memories, and then only partially.

Doctors do not deny that sometimes occurs a complete loss of memory (including the young) for no apparent reason. The mechanism of this mysterious disease is still unknown, and treatment is rarely produces favorable results. But, as doctors recommend, you know these patients do not despair. Sometimes, however samoprizvolno, even in the most difficult of patients coming "enlightenment," and they remember almost everything! According to the observations of physicians, a miracle happens usually when the patient returns to his family, where he was showing genuine love and attention. True say that sometimes a kind word heals …

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